Put Economic in Holistic Ed

Holistic education often in focuses on academic, social, emotion, physical, cultural and spiritual activities, outcomes, teachings and experiences.  The inclusion of economic, financial,and/or entrepreneurship provides an opportunity for students to gain skills and knowledge that are vital to survival and success. The opportunity to learn using a project-based approach can provide an experience that solidifies learning and confidence in decision making and innovation.  This information is often taught at home to students by parents who understand the value of this knowledge and skills. Having more emphasis in formal education may lead to an increase in success amongst future generations and eliminate the incidence of poverty amongst those who may not have had access to this knowledge about the way the world works in terms of money.

By Nancy Macleod


A Time and Space to Think-Cape Breton December 15, 2016


Working near the table to set new goals for the Steeper Climb for 2017:

Starting with more questions than answers:

  1. What did I learn in 2016?
  2. How can I add more value to the service I offer?
  3. How can I employ youth in a meaningful way?
  4. How can I provide services in other regions?
  5. What additional services can I offer?
  6. What will determine success?
  7. How can I increase the impact in terms of supporting youth?

Now answering the questions that will formulate the goals.


Teaching Youth the Path to Resilience

The Steeper Climb has created a new goal setting workshop that includes teaching resourcefulness as part of a strategy. Resourcefulness can be taught as a skill and as a mindset.  Youth can process, interpret and give meaning to this information within the framework of their respective cultures-and then build upon it.  Goals can be individualized or created by a group. The workshop shares tools to support the promotion of self-directed learning so that progress continues beyond the workshop. The use of resourcefulness in goal-setting can build skills and beliefs that support resilience in youth. By Nancy MacLeod


Finding Funding Costs Time

There is funding to be found; it takes time and effort but it is attainable. Most organizations can benefit from having a designated person searching for calls for proposals and writing proposals.  Hiring a consultant can work in the interim but a staff person dedicated to building capacity through proposal writing is a stronger approach.  Another thing to remember is the importance of building a coordinator or manager position into all project proposals.  This builds community/organization capacity and ensures there is a designated person responsible for the project.


How and Why Self-directed Learning for Youth labelled “at Risk” is Successful

1. Youth can choose what they learn based on their interests

2. Interest in a topic creates motivation to learn

3. Flexibility in terms of learning activities provides opportunity for learners to make choices

4. Learners can take ownership over their learning and education

5. The level of engagement in learning increases with self-motivation and the power of choice

6. The use of technology promotes independence in learning in terms of scheduling

7. Self-directed learning can include support and mentorship

8. Self-directing learning can promote short and long term goal setting

9. Self-directed learning is progressive in terms of educational programming

10. Self-directed learning is not dependent on attending a school at a certain time (schedule)

11. The flexibility of self-directed learning removes barriers to education such as travel to school, schedules, and the structured, rule-riddled atmosphere of many schools (institutions).

My School Backpack!
My School Backpack!

Personal Development, Staff Development, Teamwork

Can you benefit from a workshop on team-building skills without an opportunity for self-development?  Can you bring anything to the team that is greater than yourself? Many managers look to a 2 day workshop on team-building skills to enhance the productivity, efficiency, etc. of their staff.  And in some cases, it is to increase cooperation and reduce conflict amongst the staff.  The staff of an organization can make or break the organization.  They are the the engine that drives the organization forward, or stalls it, or flips it on its side.  Perhaps personal development is the key, self-reflection, an opportunity to be the best that you can be.  And then you bring the best that you can be to the team.   The schools do not teach us how to be the best that we can be.  Many people are searching and so self-learning has become popular.  The self-help section in the bookstore is growing – the demand is there.  Perhaps we should begin with supporting individuals to be the best that they can be as part of professional development in the work place.  I believe it will more than beneficial.IMG_0621

Random Engagement is Natural – Youth at Risk

The programs or projects which provide an opportunity for engagement and interaction have a better chance of success.  The engagement and interaction can include youth decision-making and influence over programming approaches, details, and activities. Youth gain more traction in a program when they can influence the direction of the program or project.  It is a subtle approach to leadership development and engagement with others.  it can not be prescribed or framed in a work plan but it can be an approach based on the principle of the significance of random, natural engagement – and then the project takes on a life of its own.


The Steeper the Climb – Individual, Organizational, Community Capacity Building

I just found this quote by Paula Abdul:

“The steeper the mountain, the harder the climb, the better the view from the finish line ;)”

We can apply this quote/concept to capacity building for individuals, youth labelled at-risk, communities suffering from years of oppression, and organizations struggling to create healthy workplaces.  The important thing to remember is to develop initiatives that work within the framework of the steeper climb.  Extra supports are needed. Perhaps a holistic approach is required so that all aspects of a persons life are taken into consideration on the climb.  Mountain climbers do use equipment and supports; they do not walk straight up the steepest mountain. We can continue to improve our approach!IMG_1635 IMG_1215

4 Reasons to Write Proposals as part of Community Development

1. The addition of extra funds provides an opportunity for program development.

2. Communities can design their own approach in line with the criteria of the funder.

3. It provides an opportunity to position the community as a leader in a specific area.

4. It creates an atmosphere of progress and hope through  the starting of a new project.